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Multicultural earnings: Leeds tries to cope with harassment and public drug usage

A renewed effort to address anti-social behaviour in Leeds city centre is underway with the extension of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO). Following a public consultation, during which an overwhelming majority (86%) supported the proposals, the focus remains on fostering a safe and welcoming environment in the city centre.

The PSPO encompasses prohibitions against various forms of anti-social behaviour in public spaces, including insulting, abusive, or sexually inappropriate conduct—specifically addressing instances like cat-calling experienced by women and girls. Additionally, it targets the possession or consumption of psychoactive substances, as well as groups obstructing pavements and roads.

Unauthorized charitable collections, distribution of flyers, and street peddling without authorization are also included in the list of prohibited activities. Building upon the measures introduced in the previous PSPO, the renewed order maintains provisions to tackle alcohol misuse and address anti-social behavior within the premises of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust.

Originally implemented in 2020, the PSPO is set to be renewed on November 13, covering the city centre and parts of the wards of Beeston and Holbeck, Burmantofts & Richmond Hill, Hunslet and Riverside, Little London, and Woodhouse.

Leeds City Council, in collaboration with partners from the Safer Leeds: City Centre Partnership, including businesses, is actively involved in addressing unacceptable behaviors that cause harm. This collaborative effort aims to ensure the safety and well-being of people in public spaces, whether during the day, evening, or night.

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for resources with responsibility for Safer Leeds, emphasized the commitment to enhancing the quality of life for residents, workers, and visitors in Leeds. The decision to extend the PSPO, coupled with new additions, underscores the council’s dedication to creating a positive experience in Leeds and sending a clear message that all forms of anti-social behavior are not tolerated in the city.

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson is a native of Leeds, journalist and PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow. She is mainly interested in foreign affairs, geopolitics and investigative journalism.

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